Now cemented as the UK’s ultimate, family friendly rally event, Rallyday 2017 just became an even more exciting prospect thanks to the announcement of this year’s star guest, none other than Stig Blomqvist. The Super Swede will be on hand to answer questions about his amazing career, the cars he piloted and the results he achieved, as well as relaying plenty of anecdotes from the sport’s golden era. The original Stig most certainly won’t be alone though, he’ll be joined by some of the finest rally cars of all time, plus exciting, high octane entertainment for all the family.
It’s hard to overstate Stig Blomqvist’s role in the history of the World Rally Championship, partly as he was there from the very start, partly as he achieved so much in his long and storied career. Stig began by rallying the ‘humpback’ Saab 96 in the late ‘60s, winning events as prestigious as the RAC, 1000 Lakes and his native Sweden in the underpowered Trollhättan machine. He went on to claim the first ever win for a turbocharged rally car on the 1979 Swedish using the Saab 99 Turbo, before jumping ship to Audi for 1982, a move which allowed him to take the British Rally Championship in 1983, followed by the world title a year later. He would later rally the fearsome Ford RS200, as well as an incredible variety of Group A machinery in the 1990s, plus a sensational 3rd place on the 1996 RAC rally in a Skoda Felicia Kit Car!
One of the reasons Stig Blomqvist is so beloved is the clear juxtaposition between his calm, softly spoke personality out of the car (you’ll struggle to find a more engaging WRC champ), and his decidedly sideways, Scandinavian driving style in it! Few can claim to be able to drive a car – any car – like Stig, and it’s a skill he displayed in a staggering variety of different machines. From two-stroke Saabs to ungodly powerful Group B Quattros, unruly Sierra Cosworths to highly-strung Skoda Felicas, Stig drove them all and drove them well, so to be able to have him at Rallyday 2017 is nothing short of sensational.
1984 World Rally Champion aside, Rallyday 2017 will also play host to an incredible variety of cars and stars, with much of the action focussed on the specially created special stage. This incorporates key sections of the regular Castle Combe circuit, and has been devised to offer unparalleled views of the great and the good of the rallying world doing what they do best! The popular Clubmans Stage returns once again, giving yet another opportunity to see the cars in action, while a limited number of passenger rides are available to pre-book or to purchase on the day.
This year’s event marks a number of rally milestones, not all of them happy. It’s a full 10 years since we lost Colin McRae, and Castle Combe is attempting to gather as many cars with a connection to McRae's rallying career as possible, with the eventual aim of conducting a circuit parade to remember Colin and the others lost on that dreadful day back in 2007. The show will also mark the mark the 30th anniversary of Group A’s ascension to the top of the WRC ladder in the wake of Group B's cancellation, so expect to see plenty of Imprezas, Evos, Celicas and Escort Cosworths blatting their way through the stage.
Factor in Rallyday’s commitment to providing fun and entertainment for all the family (not to mention the sheer number and variety of stalls), and it’s clear to see why the show occupies such a special place within the collective heart of the British motorsport community. It simply can’t be missed if you like your motorsport loud, raw and sideways!